Neurologic and psychiatric disorders are important and growing causes of morbidity and mortality affecting up to 1 billion people and causing almost 7 million deaths world-wide. The WHO recently estimated that neurological disorders represent the highest global burden of disease in terms of total disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). The most critical of these, projected to account for the highest percentage of DALYs in 2030, include cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Developing countries such as Viet Nam are currently experiencing a health transition from infectious to chronic diseases in which the impact on the health of the population from these diseases will be especially devastating. In order to address the need to increase infrastructure and research capacity for assessing neurologic diseases in Viet Nam, we propose to develop a collaboration between physicians affiliated with the Department of Health in Da Nang, Viet Nam;the Da Nang Psychiatric Hospital;the Cardiology and Radiology Departments at the Da Nang Hospital;and the University of Washington Departments of Epidemiology and Neurology to meet the following objectives: (1) assess the research and training needs to conduct comprehensive studies focused on evaluation of neurologic diseases in Da Nang through formal and informal meetings, input of neurologists and health officers, and an inventory of research completed/underway in the region;(2) develop collaborations through convening a Steering Committee of local health experts to guide the project, and provide international travel exchanges between co-investigators;(3) implement a pilot research study to assess the prevalence of cerebrovascular disease in Da Nang and to evaluate physical and cognitive function in adults residing in 400 households;and (4) integrate capacity building and training into the collaboration by facilitating human subjects review in the Department of Health, providing instructional courses in research methods/neuroepidemiology, and developing a computer research lab for use by investigators wishing to implement studies primarily in the neurologic sciences. The pilot study will access households randomly selected from enumerated lists available for the province. Teams of nurse interviewers will administer screening questionnaires to assess stroke and cognitive dysfunction. Prevalence rates of disease will be calculated. This project will result in improving infrastructure for future research on neurologic topics in Da Nang for development of one (or more) collaborative follow-up R01 grant proposals in stroke and/or dementia.
The significance of this project is to develop capacity to conduct future research in neurologic diseases in Da Nang, Viet Nam, by assessing current local research capacity, providing the necessary training and equipment, developing an IRB, strengthening collaborations with Vietnamese investigators, and collecting preliminary data on cerebrovascular disease.
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